Scouting Week 4 in Lake County

  • Lake Zurich wide receiver James Piggott runs for yardage against Fremd earlier this season.

      Lake Zurich wide receiver James Piggott runs for yardage against Fremd earlier this season. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Updated 9/19/2019 5:54 PM

By Joe Aguilar and Bill McLean



Lake Zurich (1-2, 1-0) at Lake Forest (2-1, 1-0)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Last week: Lake Zurich def. Zion-Benton, 45-0; Lake Forest def. Mundelein, 13-0.

Last year: Lake Forest def. Lake Zurich, 24-7.

Outlook: Lake Forest coach Chuck Spagnoli has only one memory of his Scouts' meeting with Lake Zurich's Bears in a North Suburban Conference clash last fall. "We won," said the delightfully blunt coach, LF's head man since 2003. But Spagnoli, a former offensive coordinator at Carthage College, neared downright verbosity while recalling the ability of a former CC free safety. "Ron was a great player there," Spagnoli said. Ron Planz was a Red Men DB at the college in Kenosha, Wis., earning a varsity letter in 2000 before embarking on a career in coaching. Today he's Lake Zurich's first-year football coach and one week removed from his first win at LZ. To get his team to 2-2 Friday night, Planz has to top a coach who has failed to guide a Scouts squad to a playoff berth only once since 2006. "I have nothing but respect for Chuck," Planz said. "His teams, every year, are unbelievably well-coached, fundamentally sound, tough and physical. You're never going to be able to trick his team." … LZ thumped host Zion-Benton last week, zipping to a 42-0 halftime lead and mercifully tallying only a field goal in the second half. A pair of Jacks (senior QB Moses and junior RB Dwyer) rushed for 3 TDs apiece and combined for 226 of LZ's 290 rushing yards. A third Jack (junior kick Rigby) booted a 35-yard FG and 6 extra points. "I liked that way our kids handled adversity heading into the game," Planz said, alluding to the Bears' 0-2 start, including a swift hoof-in-the-guts overtime loss to visiting Marist in Week 2. "I was proud of our offensive linemen (junior Bennett Haidu and seniors Spencer Bacon, Josh Pollard, Michael Andrews and Luke Mathis). Unreal; they played unreal football." … Bears senior FS Tyler Remez picked off an early pass at Z-B (1-2, 0-1), and junior MLB Bryan Sanborn was on all night, stuffing a running back here and deflating morale everywhere else versus a playoff qualifier in 2018 and a club that had split its first two games in '19. Bears senior DB Anthony Mangano was Bears senior DB Anthony Mangano: sturdy in the secondary. "That's a very good Zion-Benton football team, especially at running back [senior Jordan Chisum, specifically]," Planz said. "I told [Zee-Bees first-year coach Cristo Garza], "Look, your team is not that far away." Chisum finished with a library-quiet 35 yards rushing on 13 carries. … Lake Forest senior defensive lineman and Notre Dame recruit Rylie Mills (6-foot-5, 270 pounds) sat out LF's victory at Mundelein last week with an ankle injury. "Rylie," Spagnoli said Wednesday, "is going to be able to test his injury today." … Scouts sophomore running back Jahari Scott rushed for an 85-yard TD against the Mustangs, and senior punter/kicker Kai Kroeger, a South Carolina commit, connected for a 35-yard FG. … Among LF's other players to watch is junior RB/LB Mac Uihlein, who has received several offers from Big Ten programs. … 30-30 vision: Lake Forest scored as many points, 30, as it allowed in its first three games. … LF assistant coach Larry Lilja served as Northwestern's strength and conditioning coach during the Wildcats' Rose Bowl season in 1995. USC defeated NU 41-32 in Pasadena. … Former Warren head football coach Dave Mohapp has been an assistant coach on Spagnoli's staff since 2015. His Blue Devils teams went 109-66 from 1997-2013. … Former Chicago Bear Ahmad Merritt has been a volunteer assistant varsity/sophomore coach at LF since 2010. The former Wisconsin Badgers wideout was signed by the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2000. Merritt scored a TD on a 47-yard reverse in Chicago's 2001 divisional playoffs loss to Philadelphia. … The game at LF will be LZ's third road game in four weeks. "We'll head there with a 'road warrior' mentality," Planz said. "I'm excited about our team going up against a very good opponent. Our guys are starting to get it, starting to get that 'Lake Zurich football' feeling again, after a tough start to our season." … Spagnoli, on LZ: "Great team speed."

Warren (3-0 1-0) at Libertyville (1-2, 0-1)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Last week: Warren def. Waukegan, 56-0; Libertyville lost to Stevenson, 24-6.

Last year: Warren def. Libertyville, 35-0.

Outlook: Warren fifth-year coach Bryan McNulty has never won at Libertyville, losing in 2015 and 2016. His Blue Devils have allowed just 12 points this season and are coming off their first shutout of the season. RB Derrick McLaughlin rushed for 158 yards and 3 TDs on just 9 carries at Waukegan last Saturday, while WR Christian Phillips caught 3 TD passes, 2 from Phil Hird and 1 from Trinate Jacobs. ... Against host Stevenson last Friday, Libertyville QB Blake Ellingson did not score a TD or throw for one for the first time in a game this season. ... It's Libertyville's homecoming.

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Zion-Benton (1-2, 0-1) at Stevenson (1-2, 1-0)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Last week: Zion-Benton lost to Lake Zurich, 45-0; Stevenson def. Libertyville, 24-6.

Last year: Stevenson def. Zion-Benton, 51-14.

Outlook: It's homecoming for Stevenson, which lost senior QB Justin Hiller to a shoulder injury in the first half against Libertyville and did not play the rest of the game. Patriots coach Brent Becker said Hiller will be out a couple weeks. Junior Liam Crawley replaced Hiller against Libertyville and completed 13 of 17 passes for 122 yards with 1 TD and no turnovers. Stevenson LB Michael Youkhanna had 2 interceptions, 1 pass breakup and 1 TFL. ... Before being shut out by Lake Zurich, Z-B had scored 66 points in its first two games against Kenosha Indian Trail and North Chicago.

Waukegan (0-3, 0-1) at Mundelein (1-2, 0-1)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Last week: Waukegan lost to Warren, 56-0; Mundelein lost to Lake Forest, 13-0.

Last year: Mundelein def. Waukegan, 48-6.

Outlook: A week after scoring 31 points against Grayslake Central, Mundelein was shut out. The Mustangs will try to get back on track in their homecoming game against a Bulldogs team that has lost 29 games in a row. Waukegan has been outscored 148-6 in its first three games, against Grayslake North, Vernon Hills and Warren.



St. Patrick (1-2, 0-0) at Carmel (1-2, 0-0)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Last week: St. Patrick def. Leo, 33-0; Carmel def. DePaul Prep, 56-7.

Last year: Carmel def. St. Patrick, 39-25.

Outlook: It's homecoming for Carmel, which won its first game of the season last Friday, but lost RB Syone Usma-Harper (542 rushing yards, 8.7 average, 8 TDs) to injury. Corsairs coach Blake Annen said Usma-Harper is "day to day" and working with the school's medical team to get on the field as soon as possible. Four of WR Kimahri Wilson's receptions have been for TDs. After going 8-for-8 against DePaul Prep, Corsairs PK Jillian Walsh has kicked 16 PATs this season. ... Along with Marian Central playing at St. Viator, this is an opening game in the newly formed, four-team CCL/ESCC Purple Division.


Antioch (2-1, 1-0) at Wauconda (1-2, 1-0)When: 7 p.m., Friday

Last week: Antioch def. Grayslake North, 38-0; Wauconda def. Grayslake Central, 40-14.

Last year: Antioch def. Wauconda, 49-13.

Outlook: Antioch posted its second shutout in a row last Friday, running its all-time NLCC record to 22-0, but the Sequoits lost DB/WR Tre Watson to an MCL injury. Antioch coach Brian Glashagel said Watson will be out probably three 3 weeks. After suffering an injury in Week 1 and playing only the second half in Week 2, QB Athan Kaliakmanis threw for 202 yards and his first 3 TD passes of the season. ... Wauconda QB Nick Bulgarelli has completed 60 percent of his 58 passes for 321 yards and 6 TDs, half of which went to WR JJ Jacobo last Friday. Bulgarelli finished with 326 passing yards.

Grant (3-0, 1-0) at Grayslake Central (0-3, 0-1)When: 7:15 p.m., Friday

Last week: Grant def. Round Lake, 48-14; Grayslake Central lost to Wauconda, 40-14.

Last year: Grant def. Grayslake Central, 14-3.

Outlook: Grant's best start since 2012 (8-3 record, second-round playoff advancement) continued last Friday. The Bulldogs have scored 126 points, just 9 fewer than they did all of last season, and have allowed just 21. ... Grayslake Central has allowed 114 points, more than any NLCC team.

Lakes (2-1, 1-0) at Grayslake North (1-2, 0-1)When: 7:15 p.m., Friday

Last week: Lakes def. North Chicago, 21-20; Grayslake North lost to Antioch 38-0.

Last year: Lakes def. Grayslake North, 55-44.

Outlook: Lakes survived a tight game at North Chicago last Friday and now looks to make it four wins against Grayslake North in as many seasons of NLCC play. Lakes QB Chris Selig (31-of-60 passing, 414 yards) has thrown 3 TD passes, all to WR Branden Nava (15 receptions, 303 yards). Lakes DB Leighsean Triplet has 3 interceptions. ... Grayslake North has scored just 6 points in its last two games. The Knights were shut out last Friday for the first time since Week 3 of 2017, against Lakes.

North Chicago (0-3, 0-1) at Round Lake (1-2, 0-1)When: 2 p.m., Saturday at Grayslake Central

Last week: North Chicago lost to Lakes, 21-20; Round Lake lost to Grant, 48-14.

Last year: North Chicago def. Round Lake, 41-14.

Outlook: Round Lake was hoping unveil its renovated stadium, including an artificial-turf field, against North Chicago. Because the stadium is not yet complete, the Panthers will play their second "home" game of the season at Grayslake Central. After scoring only 115 points last season, Round Lake has put up 59 through three weeks. QB Isaiah Nixon has thrown for 312 yards and 2 TDs and has rushed for a team-best 211 yards and 3 TDs. Half of WR Kevonne Peterson's 4 receptions are for TDs. ... North Chicago and first-year coach Wilton Hill nearly upset visiting Lakes last Friday.

Hoffman Estates (2-1) at Vernon Hills (3-0)NONCONFERENCE

Hoffman Estates (2-1) at Vernon Hills (3-0)When: 7 p.m., Friday

Last week: Hoffman Estates def. Maine West, 14-7; Vernon Hills def. Elk Grove, 35-13.

Last year: Teams did not play each other.

Outlook: Vernon Hills is off to its first 3-0 start since starting 5-0 in 2015. Cougars RB Ryan Mann has rushed for 331 yards (6.8 average) and 8 TDs. QB Thomas Monken has completed 61 percent of his 72 passes for 551 yards, 5 TDs and 1 interception. ... After suffering a Week-2 loss, Hoffman Estates allowed just 7 points and 20 rushing yards against Maine West. The Hawks are going to need that type of performance again against a Vernon Hills team that is averaging nearly 41 points per game. ... Vernon Hills' first three opponents are a combined 0-9.

Barrington (3-0) at Glenbrook South (0-3)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Barrington beat New Trier 35-0; Glenbrook South lost to Conant 28-14

Last year: Did not play

Outlook: Barrington's defense hasn't posted back-to-back shutouts since 2013. The Broncos have been impressive in the way they have contained opponents this season and have not allowed a point in 9 consecutive quarters. Led by Lukas Van Ness, Dayven Shinhoster, Matt Reedy, Tommy Smith, Lucas Kozlowski and Adam Brokke Barrington will look to keep that streak alive on Friday. Glenbrook South has struggled offensively in its first three games. The Titans have turned the ball over 8 times during that span.

-- Dick Quagliano contributed to this report

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